From vaccines to Nazis: Democrats attack Republicans by listing RFK Jr’s most outrageous claims at hearing

Stacey Plaskett excoriates House Republicans for inviting the noted vaccine conspiracy theorist to testify before a subcommittee

Eric Garcia
Thursday 20 July 2023 15:09 BST
Stacey Plaskett lists Robert F Kennedy Jr's most outrageous claims

The top Democrat on House Republicans’ select subcommittee on the weaponisation of the government excoriated House Republicans for giving a platform to presidential candidate and vaccine conspiracy theorist Robert F Kennedy Jr.

Subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan had invited Mr Kennedy and other witnesses to testify about supposed censorship of various views by tech companies and the federal government. Mr Kennedy is currently challenging President Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination for president.

Rep Stacey Plaskett, who represents the US Virgin Islands, criticised Mr Jordan in her opening statement for giving a platform to Mr Kennedy, given his previous inflammatory remarks, which include comparing unvaccinated Americans to Jews living in Nazi Germany. She also mentioned his recent remark stating that Covid-19 was ethnically targeted.

“Why would the Republican leadership and the committee majority give a hearing and a platform to the witnesses today, specifically to Mr Kennedy, a man who has recently claimed that COVID-19 is targeted to attack Caucasians and black people,” she said.

She also cited the fact that Mr Kennedy’s documentary, Medical Racism: The New Apartheid, said that Covid-19 vaccines did not work on Black children because of their heightened immune system, which she called “hyper superhuman subhuman kind of language.”

“Now, many of my Republican colleagues across the dais will rush to cover that they have Mr. Kennedy here because they want to protect his free speech, that they do not believe in American censorship,” she said. “This is not the kind of free speech that I know of free speech that is protected by the Constitution First Amendment. Free speech is not an absolute.”

Ms Plaskett’s remarks specifically said that Congress did not have to give a platform to someone who had spouted conspiracy theories.

“Even knowing what they know about Kennedy’s hateful, evidence-free rhetoric, and even though they’ve invited any number of witnesses to make their point, Speaker [Kevin] McCarthy and Chairman Jordan’s affirmatively chose to give this a platform,” she said. “That’s endorsing that speech. That’s not just supporting free speech. They have co-signed on idiotic, bigoted messaging.”

Ms Plaskett said Republicans platformed Mr Kennedy purely for political reasons.

“All of this as you’ll hear throughout this hearing is to show us by their conduct that any attack on Joe Biden to get Donald Trump back in the White House is what they need to do,” she said. “

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